98 Amazing American Dream Quotes to Motivate You

These American dream quotes will inspire you to achieve your own version of success, regardless of what your background is.

It seems like everyone you ask has an opinion on the American dream, but the idea actually has a lot of different meanings for different people.

Historians, authors, and philosophers have written endlessly about the American dream, and politicians frequently use the term to convince people of their beliefs.

So what does the American Dream really mean?

To some, the American dream represents achieving wealth and prosperity.

A college education and home ownership can also be symbols of the American dream.

For others, the American dream may be more about freedom, raising a family, or building your own business.

Finally, a major component of the American dream for many people is the value of diversity and inclusion, as generations of immigrants have helped build the nation.

As you read along, these American dream quotes will inspire you and open your eyes up to what the American dream actually is.

Also check out our list of inspirational Good Will Hunting quotes that will motivate you to realize your potential.

If you enjoy this article, check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily motivation. 

Browse our entire collection of inspirational quotes for more motivating ideas and concepts.

American Dream Quotes to Push You Towards Success

1. “The American dream belongs to all of us.” – Kamala Harris

American dream quotes about the American dream belongs to all of us

You will also enjoy our article on dream quotes.

2. “The American Dream is one of success, home ownership, college education for one’s children, and have a secure job to provide these and other goals.” – Leonard Boswell

American Dream Quotes to Push You Towards Success

You will also enjoy our article on Coming to America quotes.

3. “For me, the essence of the great American Dream is spiritual. I believe that our Constitution is inspired and that it is based on principles that are timeless and universal. This is the reason why 95% of all written constitutions throughout the world are modeled after our Constitution.” – Stephen Covey

American dream quotes to Inspire you

4. “I’m very pro-American – my entire family escaped poverty in Italy because they rightly believed in the American dream.” – Camille Paglia

American dream quotes and sayings

5. “What is the American dream? The American dream is one big tent. One big tent. And on that big tent you have four basic promises: equal protection under the law, equal opportunity, equal access, and fair share.” – Jesse Jackson

Meaningful American dream quotes

6. “To me, the American Dream is being able to follow your own personal calling. To be able to do what you want to do is incredible freedom.” – Maya Lin

Cool American dream quotes

7. “As an educator, I have always striven to see that the fruits of the American Dream are available to all.” – James D. Watson

Top American dream quotes

8. “The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.” – James Truslow Adams

Amazing American dream quotes

9. “A basic element of the American dream is equal access to education as a lubricant of social and economic mobility.” – Nicholas Kristof

Special American dream quotes

10. “The promise of the American Dream requires that we are all provided an equal opportunity to participate in and contribute to our nation.” -Charles B. Rangel

Random American dream quotes

11. “To realize the American Dream, the most important thing to understand is that it belongs to everybody. It’s a human dream. If you understand this and work very hard, it is possible.” – Cristina Saralegui

Favorite American dream quotes

12.  “America is not just a country, it’s an idea.” – Bono

American dream quotes about america is not just a country, it's an idea

13. “They don’t call it the Italian Dream or the English Dream. In America, there is the American Dream. It was the first place to give people of any social background their dream. You can achieve anything.” – Fabio Lanzoni

Inspirational American dream quotes

14. “I define the American dream as the ability to imagine a way that you want your life to turn out, and have a reasonable hope that you can achieve that.” – David Henry Hwang

American dream quotes to motivate you

15. “America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” – Harry S. Truman

American dream quotes to helping others

Also, read these powerful V for Vendetta quotes will inspire you to stand up and fight for the things that you believe in.

American Dream Quotes On Building Yourself Up From Nothing

16. “I grew up with a single pair of shoes until I grew into the next size. My parents believed in the American dream and the power of education but didn’t have the money to send me to college. I realized early on that I needed to go against the flow and be better than everyone else to support my family.” – Julie Sweet

American Dream Quotes On Building Yourself Up From Nothing

17. “If America had a motto, it would be pull yourself up by the bootstraps, work harder than the next guy, have a goal and achieve it.” – John Lee Hancock

American dream quotes to inspire you

18. “Only in America can someone start with nothing and achieve the American Dream. That’s the greatness of this country.” – Rafael Cruz

American dream quotes for Instagram

19. “So, then, to every man his chance–to every man, regardless of his birth, his shining, golden opportunity–to every man the right to live, to work, to be himself, and to become whatever thing his manhood and his vision can combine to make him–this, seeker, is the promise of America.” – Thomas Wolfe

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Wise and inspirational American dream quotes

20. “The American Dream is that any man or woman, despite of his or her background, can change their circumstances and rise as high as they are willing to work.” – Fabrizio Moreira

Motivational American dream quotes

21. “I am the American Dream. I am the epitome of what the American Dream basically said. It said you could come from anywhere and be anything you want in this country. That’s exactly what I’ve done.” – Whoopi Goldberg

Funny American dream quotes

22. “The faith that anyone could move from rags to riches – with enough guts and gumption, hard work and nose to the grindstone – was once at the core of the American Dream.” – Robert Reich

Wise American dream quotes

23. “If you have the ability to pick yourself up by the bootstraps and start over, you come out stronger because you learn from whatever mistakes you made.” – Abby Lee Miller

Other American dream quotes

24. “The road to success is not easy to navigate, but with hard work, drive and passion, it’s possible to achieve the American dream.” – Tommy Hilfiger
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of passion quotes expressing the love of things you’re interested in.

Best American dream quotes

25. “I think the American Dream says that anything can happen if you work hard enough at it and are persistent, and have some ability. The sky is the limit to what you can build, and what can happen to you and your family.” – Sanford I. Weill

American dream quotes

26. “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” – Vince Lombardi

Unique American dream quotes

If you enjoy this article, check out our collection of Death of a Salesman quotes that question the American dream.

American Dream Quotes On How Dreams Come True

27. “If your determination is fixed, I do not counsel you to despair. Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance.” – Samuel Johnson

American Dream Quotes On How Dreams Come True

28. “We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.” – Jesse Owens

Epic American dream quotes

29. “My own American Dream was to serve my country as best I could and make a difference in America – and in the world.” – Buzz Aldrin

More American dream quotes

30. “I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Relatable American dream quotes

31. “American Dreams are strongest in the hearts of those who have seen America only in their dreams.” – Pico Iyer

32. “I really have the American dream licked.” – Ted Nugent

33. “I lived the true American dream, because I was able to pursue what I set as my goals at a very young age.” – Mario Andretti

34. “We represent a hustler. I think we represent inspiration. I think we represent, you know, staying down. I think we represent building yourself up from the bootstraps.” – Nipsey Hussle

35. “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” – Colin Powell

36. “If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you.” – Les Brown

37. “Everyone must have a shot at the American Dream.” – Howard Schultz

38. “I’m in a weird band. We’ve done very well. The American Dream is alive and well.” – Gene Simmons

39. “I love the American dream. I feel this is the place I was supposed to be in. It’s beautiful. I love it.” – Immaculee Ilibagiza

40. “The American dream has always been about chasing opportunity and pursuing a brighter future for ourselves and our children.” – Jay Inslee

41. “When it comes to the American dream, no one has a corner on the market. All of us have an equal chance to share in that dream.” – J. C. Watts

42. “I’ve been living the American Dream for over 25 years – just being able to do what I do, be creative, and make money out of it. It’s incredible.” – Dr. Dre

Don’t forget to also read these mindset quotes that will set you up for success.

Quotes About How the American Dream Has Changed

43. “I have spent my life judging the distance between American reality and the American dream.” – Bruce Springsteen

44. “If there is still an American dream, reading is one of the bootstraps by which we can all pull ourselves up.” – Karin Slaughter

45. “The American dream, what we were taught was, grow up, own a car, own a house. I think that dream’s completely changing. We were taught to keep up with the Joneses. Now we’re sharing with the Joneses.” – Brian Chesky

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46. “If wealth was the inevitable result of hard work and enterprise, every woman in Africa would be a millionaire.” – George Monbiot

47. “Americans need a fresh reminder of the amazing nation they have and the power of liberties I see so often taken for granted.” – Ali Master

48. “It’s called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.” – George Carlin

49. “Seeking the invisible through the imagery of the visible, the Americans never can get quite all the way to the end of the American dream.” – Lewis H. Lapham

50. “We need to forge a whole new energy and American Dream.” – Will.i.am

51. “I live in the suburbs, the final battleground of the American dream, where people get married and have kids and try to scratch out a happy life for themselves.” – Harlan Coben

52. “I don’t want people who are in poverty, in pain, or suffering, to suffer because it’s for their own good and they can pull themselves up by their bootstraps. I want to help them. I want us all to help them.” – Penn Jillette

53. “Our workforce and our entire economy are strongest when we embrace diversity to its fullest, and that means opening doors of opportunity to everyone and recognizing that the American Dream excludes no one.” – Thomas Perez

54. “There are those, I know, who will reply that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind, is nothing but a dream. They are right. It is. It is the American Dream.” – Archibald MacLeish

55. “The American Dream may be slipping away. We have overcome such challenges before. To recover the Dream requires knowing where it came from, how it lasted so long and why it matters so much.” – Jon Meacham

56. “None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody – a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns – bent down and helped us pick up our boots.” – Thurgood Marshall (see more Thurgood Marshall quotes)

57. “I really love stand-up. I’m more than happy to do it for nothing. I’ve come to America to do it for nothing. It’s the American Dream: Work for free.” – John Oliver

58. “The American Dream is a phrase we’ll have to wrestle with all of our lives. It means a lot of things to different people. I think we’re redefining it now.” – Rita Dove

59. “America is not so much a nightmare as a non-dream. The American non-dream is precisely a move to wipe the dream out of existence. The dream is a spontaneous happening and therefore dangerous to a control system set up by the non-dreamers.” – William S. Burroughs

More American dream quotes

60. We believe in the American Dream, not in the socialist nightmare.” – Donald Trump

61. “He was going to get the American Dream that even Americans dream about.” – Nicola Yoon

62. “The American Dream was just then beginning to be defined by wealth at the expense of exploitable natural resources.” – Tammy Horn

63. “The Chinese dream is an American dream embedded in a Confucian cocoon.” – Patrick Mendis

64. America is big enough to accommodate all their dreams.” – Barack Obama

65. “The American dream is what has kept Americans from rebelling against corporate corruption. Now that 2/3 of us know it’s dead, expect anything.” – Ziad K. Abdelnour

66. “The American Dream is a constant reminder that America’s true nature and distinctive grandeur is in promising the common man, the man on the make, a better chance to succeed here than common men enjoy anywhere else on earth.” – Cal Jillson

67. “The American Dream is not the nation’s promise of opportunity based on one’s ability and hard work alone. Instead, it is the uniquely American ability to believe, despite all evidence to the contrary, that the nation will one day be willing to offer such an opportunity. Today, however, was not that day.” – Blair Bronwyn

68. “What America explores today, the world explores a decade later.” – Abhijit Naskar

American dream quotes that are possible for everyone

69. “The American dream comes from opportunity. The opportunity comes from our founding principles, our core values that’s held together and protected by the Constitution. Those ideas are neither Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal, white, or black. Those are American ideologies.” -Ted Yoho

70. “The American Dream is still alive out there, and hard work will get you there. You don’t necessarily need to have an Ivy League education or to have millions of dollars startup money. It can be done with an idea, hard work and determination.” -Bill Rancic

71. “The American Dream is independence and being able to create that dream for yourself.” -Marsha Blackburn

72. “The American Dream is a term that is often used but also often misunderstood. It isn’t really about becoming rich or famous. It is about things much simpler and more fundamental than that.” -Marco Rubio

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73. “What I love about America is not necessarily the American Dream but the fact that there’s so much spirit of fighting to continue to dream once the dreams are broken.” -Chloe Zhao

74. “In the end, the American dream is not a sprint, or even a marathon, but a relay. Our families don’t always cross the finish line in the span of one generation. But each generation passes on to the next the fruits of their labor.” -Julian Castro

75. “I love entrepreneurship because that’s what makes this country grow, and if I can help companies grow, I am creating jobs; I am setting foundations for future generations. It sends the message that the American Dream is alive and well.” –Mark Cuban

76. “You see, without hard work and responsibility, there is no American Dream.” -Richard Trumka

77. “This is the city of dreamers and time and again it’s the place where the greatest dream of all, the American dream, has been tested and has triumphed.” -Michael Bloomberg

78. “I am living proof that the American dream still exists. It is still alive and well. There is only one trick, you have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and work very, very hard.” -Paula Deen

American Dream Quotes to Chase Your Dreams

79. “The American dream does not come to those who fall asleep.” ― Gerald R. Ford

80. “That’s why they call it the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.” ― George Carlin

81. “The truth is that I’ve always been fascinated with wealth in America. To me, it’s been about the American dream and the corruption of that dream.” ― Leonardo DiCaprio

82. “Most people are looking for security, a nice, safe, prosperous future. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s called the American Dream.” ― Lee Iacocca

83. “We need men who can dream of things that never were.” ― John F. Kennedy

84. “The American dream has now morphed into an expectation. And if it isn’t provided, or if it doesn’t happen, then people feel cheated.” ― Rush Limbaugh

85. Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” ― John Steinbeck

86. “There’s nothing in the American dream about character. It’s a serious flaw.” ― Mike Nichols

87. “College is part of the American dream. It shouldnt be part of a financial nightmare for families.” ― Barbara Mikulski

88. “Everybody has dreams. You are living the American dream, what’s wrong with pushing to secure it for everyone?” ― Bob Ross

American Dream Quotes for A Better Tomorrow

89. “Face your reality. You, black or white, are not innocent anymore. Either you have the courage to face it or you will go down together with the whole idea of the American Dream.” ― Raoul Peck

90. “The American dream is not about how much money you make or how many buildings have your name on it.” ― Marco Rubio

91. “I am proof that the American dream still exists.” ― Paula Deen

92. “You destroy the initiative of the working people if they don’t feel they have a fighting chance to be a part of the American Dream.” ― James Sinegal

93. People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents.” ― Andrew Carnegie

94. “When we make college more affordable, we make the American dream more achievable.” ― William J. Clinton

95. “The hard way builds solidly a foundation of confidence that cannot be swept away.” ― Colonel Sanders

96. No one understands and appreciates the American Dream of hard work leading to material rewards better than a non-American.” ― Anthony Bourdain

97. That’s the American Dream: to make your life into something you can sell.” ― Chuck Palahniuk

98. “We may come from different places and have different stories, but we share common hopes, and one very American dream.” ― Barack Obama

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Can you still pull yourself up by your bootstraps and achieve the American Dream?

As you might have noticed from these American dream quotes, many people feel that the economy and politics of America no longer allow everyone the opportunity to achieve the American Dream.

Others still believe that America is the land of opportunity that it always was promised to be.

Some people think that the American Dream does live on, but its meaning has changed.

Instead of focusing on individual success, their new definition of the American Dream is about taking care of others and sharing so that all Americans can enjoy greater prosperity and happiness.

Whatever the American Dream means to you, you can take your first step today toward making it come true.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these American dream quotes and sayings?

Do you have any other favorite quotes to add?

Let us know in the comment section below.

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